Chinese Lawyers Criticize Attack on ‘New Five Black Categories’
An anti-American propaganda piece by Chinese state media said the United States is “penetrating China’s lowest classes” and trying to influence five Chinese groups that are in the way of development, lawyers among them. A number of Chinese lawyers took exception to that and commented on their social media blogs.
The Aug. 2 article on People’s Daily, written by a director of the Communist Party’s University of Foreign Relations, said the United States is “interfering with China’s development model by nonmilitary means.” It listed Human rights lawyers, underground churches and religions, dissidents, Internet personalities, and the disadvantaged and ethnic minorities as the five Chinese problem groups America is trying to influence. Netizens quickly dubbed these five groups as the new five Black Categories, recalling the five black categories singled out by Mao for suppression in the 1950s and 1960s.
Several Chinese lawyers commented on Sina Weibo, China’s Twitter-like social media site:
“Global Times just interviewed me for my opinions on the ‘five groups,'” Zhang Kai, a lawyer, wrote. “I enlightened to something during the interview. The ‘five groups’ represent five fundamental values. Human rights lawyers represent the law and the constitution. Underground religions and churches represent the fight for freedom of belief. Internet personalities represent freedom of expression. Dissidents represent the fight for political rights. And the minority groups represent the fight for justice. These are the core values of a modern society,” Zhang Kai said.
“Politicians who see lawyers as enemies are themselves enemies of a rule based on law and democracy,” Henan-based lawyer Qin Yongmin said.
“When lawyers are slandered and attacked, a lot of people stand aside, thinking that the attack has nothing to do with them. Is that really the case? When there aren’t any more lawyers, who do their duties according to the law, and in fact the number of them is decreasing, your own safety will be at risk,” Cui Xiaoping, a lawyer from Guangdong, said.
“Thinking of lawyers as rebels is the same as casting the law and human rights out the door. As the world is isolating the Chinese Communist Party, if the Party cuts itself off from the people, that just paves the road to the Party’s disintegration,” Xu Tianming from Guangdong commented.
“Any political rule should be based on the interests of the people, make gaining people’s heart a focus, and truly listen to the people. Otherwise, politics becomes reactionary, without conscious and intuitive understanding,” Qiu Xuyue, a lawyer from Guangdong Province said.
Read the original Chinese article.
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